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'Flooded Frank' returns to Bridgnorth property after six-month evacuation

By Rory Smith | Bridgnorth | Environment | Published:

A scarecrow dressed for the job won't be the only addition to a flooded residence which forced its occupants into rented accommodation for six months when they move back in today.

Sally Hebbard with Flooded Frank

Sally Hebbard has lived in her Bridgnorth home for six years, but had never seen floodwater tear through the floor of her Severn Terrace property until the severe flooding earlier this year.

The 53-year-old was forced to evacuate her address on February 22 and after six months of painstaking renovation, is due to finally move back in today.

The house in the height of the floods earlier this year

But despite the hardship, which has resulted in Sally gazing upon her home daily from her rented accommodation across the road, the college teacher has taken the situation in her stride – using it as inspiration for Flooded Frank.

The cleverly-created scarecrow acts as a monument to overcoming the worst of the English weather, said Sally, who has entered Flooded Frank into Bridgnorth Town Council's scarecrow competition, being judged this week.

The house has undergone a six-month renovation which has also seen the creation of Flooded Frank

Sally, a college teacher, said: "We were flooded three times in two weeks and we were evacuated in February.

"We've lived there for six years and this is the first time the river's come in. It's been up to the front door and crept away but it flooded about a foot and a half this time.

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"It's been strange, Covid-19 came but we've been more concerned with dealing with the damage to our house.

"It's taken six months already and it still won't be completely finished until October but we've managed to keep a smile on our faces."

The house has undergone a six-month renovation which has also seen the creation of Flooded Frank

Sally has made the property completely open plan and raised the floor, as well as installing a pump.

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"We haven't got the flooring finished downstairs at all," she said. "We've had to make a lot of improvements so the next time if and when it happens – more likely when – we'll have a lot more preventative measures in place.

"We've had the whole ground floor cemented, then there's a membrane, insulation, another membrane and underfloor heating which is piping so it won't flood, but will dry the floor out, and then another cement layer.

The house has undergone a six-month renovation which has also seen the creation of Flooded Frank

"It's heightened the floor and we've also taken all of the internal walls down so water can't puddle around inside – we've had a pump area installed out the front of the house as well.

"We've done our absolute best which is all we can do. If the water wants to come in it will but it won't be able to come up through the floor like before."

Rory Smith

By Rory Smith
Reporter - @rorysmith_star

Senior reporter based at the Shropshire Star's head office in Ketley, Telford.

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